Of the two common text editor applications we will look at Notepad is the easiest to set up. (On most Windows computers, you can find it under Start / Programs / Accessories / Notepad ). You simply have to be aware of two things:
- Saving files in Notepad: the application will want to save anything you write as a .txt file in ANSI encoding. The first time you save a document, remember that HTML pages must end with a .html extension, and be encoded in UTF-8.
- Limitation of one open document at a time: Notepad will only allow you to edit one document at a time. Choosing File / New will clear the window. This is not an issue at this stage, but will become one as we start to edit multiple documents at the same time. To edit a new document in Notepad without closing the old one, simply start up a new instance of Notepad (i.e. go to Start / Programs / Accessories / Notepad again).
There are a few settings for Notepad that will make your work easier: Format / Word wrap from Notepad’s menu bar will ensure that long lines of code do not go off the edge of the Notepad application window, forcing you to scroll; I’d also suggest changing Format / Font… to a choice that is larger and more legible.